All Black Friday - Boohoo collaboration*

The colour black, my sister seems to think I have too many black clothes. I, however think you can never have too much black, it is a staple colour and goes with everything. When boohoo asked me to style an all black outfit in the run up to Black Friday I jumped at the chance. Black Friday has only really started to become a thing over here in the UK so be sure to pick something up in the boohoo sale!! It is rare that I do fashion posts on Dainty and Ivory, they are something I wold like to do more off but I hate being photographed! I would have liked to have taken photos more fitting for an all black outfit but I'm busy seven days a week so didn't have the time! 

So since I do wear black clothes a lot I tried to go for clothes that are different to my usual style and step out of my comfort zone a little! The first item I spotted was this gorgeous Chelsea longline crochet hem top it's a perfect casual top that can be worn with a number of things. It's comfortable and perfect for winter. I love the crochet detailing it's such a pretty lace pattern. 

Next up are the monochrome leggings! These are 100% something I might not pick up but I really wanted to create a laid back outfit and not use black leggings for once. I wasn't sure if I would like them but I love the pattern! With black leggings the crochet pattern from the top is lost with these leggings you can see the detailing. 

I then teamed this look up with jelly block heel sandals, I am smitten with these, they are gorgeous! They've become my new favourite shoes to wear, they are perfect to help create a grunge look.

Lastly, I added the tribal tusk pendant which is perfect for dressing this outfit up a little.

So this was the casual look I created. Next I wanted to an outfit that could be causal but also be worn on a night out.

I opted for the capped sleeve woven playsuit, I love the print on this and it is so comfortable to wear. It's a playsuit I'd feel comfortable wearing on a night out with no tights and a pair of chunky heels and during the day I'd stick with ankle boots or flats and a thick pair of Winter tights. I think this playsuit can be dressed up and down in so many ways! 

Again I know outfit posts are rare on here, next time I'll promise to improve my photos but let me know what you think!? 

Trek America Southern Sun - Day two

Day two - Washington DC

My first night of camping wasn't the best, I didn't sleep too well, I kept waking up, rolling around to get comfy. I woke up pretty early in the morning to get ready, I think it was these moments in the morning that I was thankful at times because it allowed me a little bit of alone time. After I was ready Phil had set up breakfast which consisted of cereals, bagels, toast, fruit etc. 

We left camp at around quarter to nine, although this was a free day we had a guided bike tour at 10 am which was included in the price of the tour. The company we went with was called bike and roll when we arrived they fitted us with helmets and made sure we had the correct bike/seat adjustments. I was a little bit apprehensive at first, I couldn't recall the last time I was on a bike! I was wobbly at first and even though they had set the gears, my bike didn't feel right, it felt like the I was peddling too much and I couldn't get my head around on how to work the gears... 

We had such amazing weather in Washington DC it was so sunny and warm, which might not have helped being on a bike and being unfit, several times I thought I can't do this! I think the tour was around two hours long but I'm not entirely sure and you don't have to do it. The tour included the Lincoln Memorial it was nice seeing the difference during the day and night, although I think I preferred it at night with everything all lit up. Next was the Jefferson memorial, the tidal basin makes it look like the memorial is situated in a middle of a lake. The memorial itself is really majestic.  The tour also include the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. I also learnt the difference between a monument and a memorial, a monument is built whilst a person is alive and a memorial after the person has died, memorial makes sense but I didn't know the monument fact! The tour was really good and it was fun getting to see Washington DC in a different way and even if you aren't the fittest of people like me it is doable. 

After the bike ride we had free time to do what we wanted, we were recommended the Smithsonian museums because these are free. But before we went anywhere we went to find food, I wasn't really hungry but went along anyway, one of the girls on the trek had been living in Washington DC for a year so recommended a great place to eat which served food from around the world, although I can't remember the name! The first museum we visited was the air and space museum. I love space, telescopes, stars and planets, I would describe this museum of the technical aspects of going into space, hows its done, the machinery they use which is interesting but I also like the dreamy idea of walking around a museum with fake planets and stars everywhere. However I did get to touch a part of the moon. 

The next museum we went to (which isn't a Smithsonian but still free) was the Holocaust museum. Went you go in you are handed a little booklet and inside the booklet is a true story of people who were involved in the Holocaust, you can read the booklet as you go along and see how this person lived at this time in history. I didn't take too many photos because I felt disrespectful but it was intriguing and heartbreaking at the same time. 

After the bike ride, it made Washington DC feel like everything is close together, it isn't! Everything is spread apart and it takes ages to walk from one place to the next. As a group we walked to the White House and it felt a lot closer than it was. The White house is such an iconic building, I've seen it countless times in movies, in the news etc. so I was really looking forward to seeing it and honestly I was slightly underwhelmed. I'm not entirely sure why but I'm happy that I got to see it. 

We had planned to meet Phil out trek guide at six but sure to the distance from the Whitehouse back to the The castle we was late!! We all saw of held our heads low and apologised a thousand times, he had bought us lots of pizza for dinner and we sat and ate it in the gardens whilst he went over more trek information, it was a really nice end to our day in Washington DC. Back at camp we set up a fire and sat around that until it was time for bed.

(I am going to try and make my trek america posts as detailed as possible and fit as much in as I can remember, if you have any questions about the tour ask in the comments below and I will do an FAQ at the end. I also was not planning on having these posts so few and far between but I've been so busy!) 

Getting Christmas creative with Snapfish*

I'm sure your blog list has been filling up with posts related to Christmas, I'm often reminded its only so and so days away. I love the idea of getting creative at Christmas and one way to do this is using photographs. Snapfish is a website I love using for prints, they are affordable, really good quality and have speedy delivery, as well as offering a wide range of other items. 

I had a few ideas in my mind about what to make, the thing is I don't have many personal Christmas photos online they are all stacked away in boxes and mainly in the attic, so when it came to printing Christmas related photos to get creative with I opted for free vintage images I found online (with a few Christmas ones of my dogs.) 

So when I think of Christmas I think of warmth, candles, glitter, snow, reds and greens, so I tried to include these elements in my ideas. A lot of them involved gluing! I also have to apologise for the lighting the downfall of rarely getting to see the Sun during winter! 
I love old jam jars and using them as tea light holders, so for this I simply used a photograph of a Snowman (to personalise you can use photos of your own snowmen.) I stuck this on using PVA glue then decorated the glass with metallic silver paint. 

Another jam jar idea, this time I used a mini jam jar to create a photo holder although the same idea can be used as placements on a table etc. I really struggled getting a photo of this so I hope you get the idea! I filled the inside with white glitter to create the snow effect, I then glued in a snowman and Christmas tree figurine to create a mini Christmas wonderland. I punctured a hole through the lid using scissors, I then glued glitter to the lid (although this could have been slightly neater.) I used some flexible wire to create my holder, I glued it into place then shaped the holder. 

I also made a Christmas photo magnet using an old frame and magnetic strips, again I painted this silver, cut and glued the photo into place and added the magnetic strips. I decorated the outside of the frame with a Christmas tree and another Snowman. I also really wanted to find some vintage style frames, paint them and tie ribbon around the top to make personalised photo decorations but my trip looking for these was fruitless! 

I've also used the photos I got printed out to make decoupage decorations, gift tags and more but lost the photos so hopefully I'll be able to retake and show with you another day.  

How would you use photos to be creative?

Review - Fun by Desigual, The Fragrance shop*

Christmas is just around the corner (seriously how fast do the years go by!?) so it is time to get thinking of Christmas fillers. One of my favourite gifts to receive at Christmas is perfume there are so many different sets to choose from and a wide variety of scents. One I've been introduced to recently is Fun by Desigual (£19.00 The Fragrance Shop) The gift set includes a make up bag and a 50ml bottle of Fun. 

the fragrance shop fun by desigual
The gift box instantly stands out with is quirky, retro, colourful packaging which just matches the perfumes name. The box can easily be reused if you wanted to keep it. The make up bag is just as colourful and striking, I love the design. The bag itself is also good quality and the perfect size to pop into your bag. 
the fragrance shop fun by desigual
The bottle design is also bright and eye catching, it has spirals of  colour running around the front and back, along the side it has inscribed 'have fun everyday!!' on it. The design really lives up to the name of the perfume. 

The scent has 'top notes of juicy blueberries with delicious nashi pear and white peach, and heart notes of exotic passion fruit, violet and peony, the base leave a trail of sandalwood and bright teak.' I've never really tried fruity scents in the past instead opting for sweeter, musky scents. When I first sprayed this you can really smell the fruitiness of the blueberries and peach, the scent isn't too strong or over-powering either and I do really like the scent of this, however the only downside is compared to other perfumes I have used I find this one doesn't last as long throughout the day.

Let me know if you've tired this perfume before! 

*This product was sent to me for reviewing purposes all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Review - AA Skincare lavender and tea tree moisturising lotion*

aa skincare moisturiser review

I've spoken about AA Skincare on my blog before, they are a cruelty free, paraben free product using natural ingredients. 

I had been using the Lavender and Tea Tree moisturiser (£6.96, 100ml) for over a month (it's the moisturiser I chose to take to America with me) before I ran out. The product is designed to hydrate, protect and restore the skin. It is a light and easily absorbed mosituriser that sinks into the skin quickly. 

I suffer from problem skin, so with its key ingredients of lavender and tea tree it is naturally antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal. Whilst applying my skin felt slightly tingly (in a good way!) fresh and clean. My skin overall looked a lot clearer and felt smoother. 

The moisturiser is perfect to use daily and nightly and works well as a base for make up. The product has a herby Lavender top note which I love. 

Trek America - Southern Sun, Flights and Day one

I booked my trek america Southern Sun holiday way back in January, doing a road trip across America has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. It had been on my mind for a couple of months prior to booking it, I would look at there website most days dreaming about going but never doing anything to make it a reality! After Christmas was out the way and I had more money I decided to book it as a birthday present to myself, I remember it so vividly because after I typed in all my details my mouse hovered over the confirm button for at least an hour whilst my stomach filled with butterflies as I built up the courage to finally click confirm! It was scary and I could hardly believe I was going to go through with this. This isn't something I would normally do, I want to travel but the idea of doing it solo terrified me. 

I booked my tour for October, it was the last Southern Sun of the season and it also gave me plenty of time to save up money and grow accustomed to the fact I was going. The months flew by so rapidly and when October arrived I was still numb to the fact I was going to fly all the way to America by myself, me the shy girl! 

I was pretty organised my suitcase was packed a week before, I had all the details I needed in my hand luggage ready to go, so when October 6th came around I didn't have to panic. I had a relaxed morning so when my taxi came to pick me up to take me to the bus station I felt at ease. I said goodbye to my dog by giving him lots of treats because I felt bad for leaving him and waved goodbye to my mum and dad. My friend came to say goodbye to me at the bus station which was a nice surprise. The bus journey to Heathrow airport went so quickly, so when I found myself at the airport with myself and luggage checked in, pass security I was at lost with what to do with myself. I ended up getting something to eat, beforehand the idea of eating alone in a restaurant was such an alien thing to me, but I guess if you can do it for the first time anywhere an airport is a good start. I used to love flying but the idea of it now after hearing too many news reports involving airplanes the idea terrified me, all the worst imaginable things I could think of popped up in my head but also the excited part of me that kept saying 'I can't believe I am actually here.'  

To my surprised the whole experience of catching a plane all by myself went a lot smoother than I could have dreamed off. My plane arrived early so I boarded without any ques, I flew with Virgin Atlantic and the plane was one of the nicest I have ever been on. The only one fault, I was sat on the aisles to the window with an empty seat next to me and a guy next to the window, as the plane took off he was on his phone, having a full on conversation whilst the woman in front of him shouted at him to turn his phone off which he ignored and continued chatting away, after a few more shouts he reluctantly hung up. At the end of the flight I had a left over vegetarian wrap which I put on the seat next to me because I was planning on taking it off the plane with me, as I was stood up ready to leave I turned round and found the guy sat eating my food! He was also one of those I need to go to the toilet every 2.5 minutes types.. I was booked into the hotel I would be meeting everyone in at in the morning. I caught a shuttle there, checked in at this point it was after 8pm and I was feeling pretty tired! My roommate was already in the room so I was pretty nervous, I had spoken to a few people beforehand but had no idea who I was about to meet. My roommate was a 26 year girl from Singapore who had been living in London for the last year and was travelling before she had to go back home and start work. After a chat we both settled down to go to sleep. 


The tour started at 7:30 am so we went down early to have a complimentary breakfast of croissants and coffee. We both spoke about how nervous we were and after checking out we sat waiting for our fellow trekkers to arrive. Unaware there was two trekkers already sat in there and after speaking they both shuffled over to join us, In total there was ten girls and two guys (three with our trek leader) we had nationalities of three people from England, two Australians, a Korean, one person from Switzerland, another from Germany, Singapore, Ireland, Scotland and lastly an American. It was a good mix of people with ages from 19-35. Phil our tour guide introduced himself, about the tour etc. then we spent an hour filling out paperwork, loaded the van before we set of on the road! 

Newark - Philadelphia - Washington DC (230 miles, 370km) 

When you sign up to these kind of trips you know you are going to be spending a lot of time in the van, thankfully the van is comfy and was spacious with the amount of people we had, there is also WiFi in the van which I had no idea about so that was a bonus. As we arrived in Philadelphia with the skyline in the background (which is one of my favourites) and went over the bridge 'Eye of the Tiger' started playing, because if you don't know Philadelphia is famous for the Rocky steps, personally I have never seen Rocky...
Phil dropped us of so we could run all the way to the top of the steps and to check out the incredible skyline, we than ran back down to pose with the Rocky statue in total we was given around twenty minutes at this particular stop before being picked up and driven to and dropped of near independence hall, again we was given around two hours to spend in this area, get something to eat and explore. At this point I knew the tour would be fast paced but this did make me wonder how much time we would spend in places vs. the time it took us to get to them. However, the American on out tour guide reassured us that the really isn't much to do in Philadelphia (apparently.) At this point our group split up some went to look for Philadelphia cheese steaks, whilst others stuck to regular food, after lunch we headed to see the Liberty bell, after watching National Treasure I just kept having flash backs to that film.
The Liberty bell is an iconic symbol of American Independence, the bell was originally from London and commissioned from Lester and Pack with a quote from the bible inscribed onto the bell "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" on its arrival into Philadelphia on its first ringing it ended up cracking and was recast two times, its famous cracked happened in the 19th century. 

On our way to Washington DC we stopped of at a target, here you have the chance to pick up any last supplies you might need for camping etc. I picked up a cheap pillow here. We then drove to our campsite Cherry hill park, it wasn't what I expected but it was nice, we were shown how to put up the tents which was really easy, although this time around I went into the tent that was the demonstration. Later on we had a meal of stir fry and since it was our first night we all opened up a fortune cookie which was a nice added touch. 

In the evening we drove into Washington DC to see all the memorials and monuments lit up at night, I was so jet lagged at this point I was falling to sleep in the van and just wanted to curl up into a ball. I've been wanting to see the reflecting pool and Washington Monument for ages and lit up at night it was simply beautiful. We climbed up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial, honestly I couldn't quite grasp how huge it was inside!
On the way back down we spotted the place where Martin Luther King Jr made his 'I have a dream' speech.'
We then proceeded to walk along the reflecting pool and up to the Washington monument before we headed back to the van. 

My first day was wonderful, every one was really friendly and nice, I ended up falling asleep to the sound of crickets.

(I am going to try and make my trek america posts as detailed as possible and fit as much in as I can remember, if you have any questions about the tour ask in the comments below and I will do an FAQ at the end.) 

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